Phase Two of Re-Opening for Arts and Culture Stakeholders

On 15 June 2020, the Ministry of Health announced that Singapore would move into Phase Two of Re-opening after 18 June 2359 hours, and that further guidance would be provided by relevant agencies for their respective sectors.  

 

There will continue to be no performances and events with audiences (“live performances”) for now, as large gatherings of people for a prolonged period of time increases the risk of transmission of the virus.  All indoor and outdoor performance venues (e.g. theatres, concert halls, blackboxes) will therefore remain closed to such activities.  The National Arts Council (NAC) will continue to engage arts and culture stakeholders on safe management measures that will allow live performances and events to resume in a safe manner for performers and audiences.

 

However, there will be a progressive resumption of other activities for arts and culture companies and practitioners in Phase Two, to support continued artmaking, cultivation of audiences, and the professional upgrading of our community.  Through this advisory, NAC would like to provide further information on these activities, and the safe management measures which have to be in effect before these activities are permitted to resume. 

 

Arts and culture organisations should log onto MTI’s Go Business portal with your CorpPass to confirm the activities you are permitted to resume, and the date of resumption.  

 

Workplaces

 

Arts and culture premises, including studios for art-making, can be used as workplaces from 19 June 2020, subject to the Ministry of Manpower’s Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the Workplace. Access to the premises should be restricted to employees and authorised visitors only.  Arts and culture premises should remain closed as workplaces if they are unable to adhere to MOM’s requirements.

 

Digital Productions and Rehearsals

 

For NAC's advisory for digital productions and rehearsals during Phase Two, please click here
 

Training classes and professional workshops

 

Training classes and professional workshops may resume from 19 June 2020 (except for singing, voice training, playing of wind or brass instruments or other instruments that require intentional expulsion of air due to the higher health risks involved).  All other classes, courses and workshops must not involve any element of singing and voice training, and must adhere to the following requirements before they resume: 

 

  • Limit group size to no more than five participants (excluding one instructor). 
  • More than one group of five may be permitted in the same room, as long as there is: 
  1. At least 1 metre spacing between all groups;
  2. No physical interaction or intermingling between different groups;
  3. No more than 50 persons in a single room, and subject to the facility and density cap in the bullet point below.  

 

  • The maximum number of persons allowed at each facility shall be limited according to its Gross Floor Area based on 10 Sqm per person or 50 persons, whichever is lower.
  • Masks should be worn as a default, except for instructors who may wear face shields only if teaching, and if remaining seated or standing generally in a fixed position at least 1 metre from others; 
  • Sharing of all other equipment (e.g. props, musical instruments and microphones) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before handled or used by others.
  • All surfaces are to be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected between classes and workshops.
  • Venues should be as well-ventilated as possible.

 

In addition to the above, the following requirements apply to classes, courses and workshops which involve physical activities (e.g. dance):

 

  • Masks can be taken off when performing strenuous activities, although it is still recommended as good practice even under such circumstances. 
  • Participants should maintain at least 2 metres safe distance from others, and try to minimise physical contact as much as possible;
  • There should be a minimum of 3 metres spacing between each group, if more than one group is using the same venue.

 

Classes in singing, voice training, speech and drama, wind and brass instrument

 

Singing, voice training, speech and drama, and wind and brass instrument classes may resume from 3 August 2020, under controlled conditions because these activities pose a higher risk of virus transmission.  The organisers of these classes must ensure that they adhere to the following requirements:  
 

  • Limit group size to no more than five participants (excluding one instructor), except for singing classes which are limited to one participant (excluding one instructor).
  • No more than one group is permitted in the same room.
  • Participants should maintain at least 2 metres safe distance from others at all times.
  • Participants should refrain from positioning themselves directly opposite each other, and when singing, should sing away from each other. If they cannot do so, they should maintain more than 2 metres safe distance from each other.
  • Masks must continue to be worn as a default, unless when unmasking is necessary for the training activity. If possible, face shields should be worn even when unmasked.
  • Instructors may wear face shields instead of masks only if speaking to the group in a classroom setting, where they largely remain at the spot from which they are speaking, and are able to maintain a safe distance away from any other persons. 
     
  • Specifically, for wind and brass instrument classes:
  1. Instructors should continue to wear masks even when singing or humming a passage of music to demonstrate how this should sound when played on the instrument.
  2. Participants should play on wind instruments which are fully intact, and refrain from training practices involving only parts of the instrument (e.g. mouthpiece buzzing, playing with just the lead pipe) to prevent droplet transmission.
  3. There should be no sharing of music instruments or parts thereof (e.g. mouthpieces, reeds).
  4. Liquids from instruments (i.e. condensation and saliva) must be collected and disposed of hygienically.
  • Sharing of all other equipment (e.g. props, microphones, mutes, music scores) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before handled or used by others.
  • All surfaces are to be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected between classes and workshops. 
  • Venues should be as well-ventilated as possible.

 

Commercial Art Galleries and Non-Profit Exhibition/Gallery Facilities

 

Commercial Art Galleries can re-open to the public from 19 June 2020, similar to other retail establishments, subject to Enterprise Singapore’s safe management measures for retail establishments.

 

Non-Profit Exhibition/Gallery Facilities may also re-open to the public for exhibitions from 26 June 2020, subject to the safe management measures set out in National Heritage Board’s advisory for museum stakeholders. Owners/managers of such facilities are to submit their safe management plan (SMP) to NAC at least three days prior to reopening to the public.   However, NAC reserves the right to suspend activities if there are gaps in the SMP submitted or inadequate implementation, until the necessary rectifications are made. If the facility wishes to deviate from the safe management measures indicated in NHB’s advisory, NAC’s explicit approval must first be obtained before facilities can be re-opened.

 

Venue Requirements
 

The owners/managers of all arts and culture premises which re-open for the above-mentioned activities are to also ensure the following:

 

  • Implement visitor registration and contact tracing measures via SafeEntry.  Encourage visitors to install and use TraceTogether.
  • Obtain visitor health declarations and put in place temperature screening measures. Persons who are unwell should be turned away and encouraged to seek medical attention.
  • Adopt SG Clean standards as new norm for sanitisation and hygiene standards:
  1. Adhere to sanitation and hygiene advisories disseminated by the National Environment Agency;
  2. Provide cleaning agents at all toilet and hand-wash stations;
  3. Provide disinfecting agents at all human traffic stoppage points within venue;
  4. Regular cleaning of common and high-touch surfaces (e.g. handrails, handles/knobs). 

 

  • Put up notices to remind visitors and employees of prevailing safe management measures, practice social responsibility and encourage the observance of social norms such as:
  1. Observe good personal hygiene (e.g. regular hand washing, refrain from touching face);
  2. Avoid handshakes and greet with a smile;
  3. Avoid speaking loudly to reduce risk of transmission through droplets. 

 

Arts and culture premises located in tenanted spaces (e.g. commercial malls) must comply with the requirements above, as well as any other requirements that the Government may impose through landlords on tenants. Arts and culture companies and practitioners who are also landlords must ensure their tenants comply with any such requirements.

 

Venue Hire Subsidy

 

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth will extend its existing 30% subsidy for venue hire and in-house production costs (where applicable) to 80% during Phase Two, subject to review and the prevailing national situation. This subsidy will be for arts and culture activities permitted to resume in Phase Two at venues in the Esplanade, National Gallery Singapore, National Heritage Board museums and heritage institutions, STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Singapore Conference Hall, as well as those managed by Arts House Limited. It will also be extended to select arts centres with shared facilities under NAC. Participating organisations will communicate details of how arts and culture stakeholders can benefit from the extended subsidy, separately. 

 

Details on other forms of support for the arts and culture sector can be found at https://www.nac.gov.sg/whatwedo/support/sustaining-the-arts-during-covid-19/acrp.html. Self-Employed Persons and freelancers can also subscribe online to NAC’s Arts Resource Hub access to shared resources, services and advice.

 

Towards a Safe and Sustainable Re-opening

 

NAC will monitor the situation closely and take action against any non-compliance with required safe management measures.  Arts and culture companies and practitioners who do not implement or comply with requirements may be closed down, ineligible for government grants and assistance, and subject to penalties under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.  Additional penalties may be imposed on arts and culture stakeholders whose premises are found to have been a place of transmission of COVID-19, if they have not adhered to these requirements.

 

A safe and sustainable re-opening requires all of us, including arts and culture stakeholders, to play our part.  It is critical that we continue to exercise caution, adhere to safe management measures, and practice social responsibility.  Collectively, we can progressively re-open our economy and society while remaining safe.

 

Queries on the above advisory can be directed to NAC_Feedback@nac.gov.sg.

 

 

 

Digital Productions and Rehearsals during Phase Two for Arts and Culture Stakeholders

First issued on 21 June 2020
Paras 2, 3 and 8 updated on 17 August 2020
 

1. On 19 June 2020, the National Arts Council (NAC) issued an advisory on “Phase Two of Re-Opening for Arts and Culture Stakeholders”, which noted that there would be further adjustments to what is allowed for digital productions and rehearsals in Phase Two.  NAC would like to provide further information on the provisions for these activities, and the required safe management measures for them to proceed, in Phase Two.

 

Digital Productions and Rehearsals

 

2. From 22 June 2020, all arts and culture premises may be used by arts and culture companies and practitioners for digital productions and recording of courses and performances, as well as rehearsals without audiences. Arts and culture stakeholders who would like to use and/or rent out their premises for these activities must adhere to the following requirements:

 

  • Limit the total number of persons (cast and crew) to 30.  
  • Of the total number, a maximum of 10 performers may be unmasked at any given time, and only when necessary (e.g. for playing of wind or brass instruments or other instruments that require intentional expulsion of air, or when performing strenuous activities like dancing). If there is “live” singing, however, a maximum of 5 performers may be unmasked at any given time.  
  • All persons should maintain at least 1 metre safe distance from others. Additionally:

    i. All unmasked persons must maintain at least 2 metres safe distance from others, and to try to minimise physical contact as much as possible.
    ii. Musicians playing instruments that require intentional expulsion of air should not sit directly opposite from others.
     
  • Sharing of all other equipment (e.g. props, musical instruments and microphones) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before handled or used by others.
  • Venues should be as well-ventilated as possible.

 

3. Special provisions have been made for digital productions programmed and/or commissioned by NAC, Esplanade, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre to involve no more than 50 persons (cast and crew), with no more than 20 performers unmasked at any given time.  Arts and culture companies and practitioners involved in these commissioned and/or programmed work will also be subject to these limits. This reflects these organisations’ role in the development of Singapore’s arts and culture sector, as national cultural institutions and companies.  Notwithstanding, productions with “live” singing must not have more than 30 persons (cast and crew) involved, with no more than 5 performers unmasked at any given time. 

 

Venue Requirements

 

4. The owners/managers of all arts and culture premises which re-open for the above-mentioned activities are to ensure the following:

 

  • Implement visitor registration and contact-tracing measures via SafeEntry.  Encourage visitors to install and use TraceTogether.
  • Obtain visitor health declarations and put in place temperature screening measures. Persons who are unwell should be turned away and encouraged to seek medical attention.
  • Adopt SG Clean standards as new norm for sanitisation and hygiene standards:

    i.  Adhere to sanitation and hygiene advisories disseminated by the National Environment Agency;
    ii. Provide cleaning agents at all toilet and hand-wash stations;
    iii. Provide disinfecting agents at all human traffic stoppage points within venue;
    iv. Regular cleaning of common and high-touch surfaces (e.g. handrails, handles/knobs).
     
  • Put up notices to remind visitors and employees of prevailing safe management measure, practice social responsibility and encourage the observance of social norms such as:
    i.Observe good personal hygiene (e.g. regular hand washing, refrain from touching face);
    ii. Avoid handshakes and greet with a smile;
    iii. Avoid speaking loudly to reduce risk of transmission through droplets.

 

5. Arts and culture premises located in tenanted spaces (e.g. commercial malls) must comply with the requirements above, as well as any other requirements that the Government may impose through landlords on tenants. Arts and culture companies and practitioners who are also landlords must ensure their tenants comply with any such requirements.

 

Towards a Safe and Sustainable Re-opening

 

6. NAC will monitor the situation closely and take action against any non-compliance with required safe management measures.  Arts and culture companies and practitioners who do not implement or comply with requirements may be closed down, ineligible for government grants and assistance, and subject to penalties under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.  Additional penalties may be imposed on arts and culture stakeholders whose premises are found to have been a place of transmission of COVID-19, if they have not adhered to these requirements.

 

7. A safe and sustainable re-opening requires all of us, including arts and culture stakeholders, to play our part.  It is critical that we continue to exercise caution, adhere to safe management measures, and practice social responsibility.  Collectively, we can progressively re-open our economy and society while remaining safe.

 

8. Arts and culture companies and practitioners can contact NAC if they would like to seek a waiver of the 30-person, 10-unmasked limit, with their reasons and proposed additional safe management measures. Queries on the above advisory can be directed to NAC_Feedback@nac.gov.sg.

 

 

[NEW] Live Performance Pilots for the Arts and Cultural Sector

1. Since the end of Circuit Breaker and transition to Phase One on 1 June 2020, activity in the arts and culture sector has progressively resumed with safe management measures (SMMs) in place to ensure the safety of stakeholders. For example, digital productions and rehearsals with no audiences were allowed to resume at NAC blackboxes from 1 June 2020. Following Singapore’s transition to Phase Two from 19 June 2020, arts and culture premises reopened for workplace activity, and training workshops & professional classes were allowed to resume to support continued artmaking, cultivation of audiences, and the professional upgrading of our community. In addition, digital productions and rehearsals were allowed to take place at all arts and culture venues from 22 June 2020 with expanded provisions. These provisions were reviewed and further expanded recently on 17 August 2020.  

 

Live Performance Pilots

 

2. As part of the progressive re-opening of the arts and culture sector, MCCY and the National Arts Council (NAC) will pilot small-scale live performances at selected arts venues from 11 September 2020, with SMMs in place. The pilot performances will help NAC, the arts and culture community, and the public gain confidence and experience in implementing the necessary SMMs, and demonstrate ways to resume live performances safely.

 

3. The pilot performances will involve: 

 

  • Smaller audiences capped at a maximum of 50 persons, to minimise the risk of large clusters forming should there be a COVID-19 case;
  • Innovations in how live performances are presented, to ensure that only a limited number of cast and crew would be in contact with unmasked performers, as well as put in place larger safe distances when conducting higher risk activities such as singing or playing of wind/brass instruments; and
  • Enhanced safe distancing measures such as minimum distances between audience members, no interactions between audiences and performers/backstage crew, and no congregations of people within the venues.  

 

4. The pilot performances will be organised by or take place at specified venues managed by NAC, Esplanade, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and Arts House Limited. The participating venues and/or cultural institutions are required to implement the SMMs at Paragraph 3. 


5. MCCY and NAC will ensure the pilot performances will provide a good range of offerings, including those which reflect Singapore’s multi-cultural character. Audiences can look forward to traditional, classical and contemporary music, dance and theatre beginning from 11 September 2020 and involving well-loved artists and arts groups from our arts and culture community. Further details will be made available on the respective venue and/or institutions’ websites once ready.  

 

6. We seek the public’s understanding that the audience experience for these pilot performances will differ from previous performances, as a result of the SMMs to ensure the safety of all involved. For example, audiences will have to observe safe distancing and refrain from congregating in common spaces, not move freely around the venue, and not participate in the production (e.g. singing or dancing) or interact with the performers.

 

7. MCCY and NAC will monitor and review the outcomes of the pilots together with the participating artists and arts groups. The experiences with the pilots will be critical to our ongoing efforts to scale-up live performances on a larger scale. NAC will work closely with the community to explore how we can stage the resumption of live performances more widely, following a successful implementation of the pilot performances.

 

8. A safe and sustainable re-opening requires all of us to play our part. It is critical that we continue to exercise caution, adhere to SMMs, and practise social responsibility. Collectively, we can progressively re-open our economy and society while remaining safe.

 

9. For any queries, please email NAC_Feedback@nac.gov.sg.

 

Updated as of 17 September 2020